Our Favorite Drupal Modules of 2021

The 7 Drupal modules we're loving right now

When you first install Drupal, the appearance and core features will be fairly basic. Imagine it as a blank canvas waiting for an artist with the right creative vision to take it to the next level. 

Drupal has a modular framework, which means that new website features can be added to it as easily as installing a plugin. Individual modules are added to Drupal to create unique functionalities and features for users and administrators depending on their specific needs.

Drupal really begins to come into its own after it’s been customized. 

Here at Bear Group, our developers and technical project managers research, evaluate, and work with many Drupal modules based on our clients’ needs. As web developers, we look for modules that will work seamlessly to elevate the look and operation of the website.

We’ve pulled together a list of some of our favorite Drupal modules so far this year.

1. Color Spectrum

The Drupal Color Palette module provides a color dropdown that site builders can customize in the configuration process so that adding or removing colors doesn't require a code push. 

This is what the client (admin) will be able to do when they're logged in and this is what they will see. 

Clients view of the color spectrum module.

This is what’s happening behind the scenes:

Another look at the color spectrum module.

This also makes it easy for the admin to add a new brand color option to the website.

2. Field Group

The Drupal Field Group module helps with the flow of the website structure for large amounts of content. It allows you to group fields together so they are easier to find on the page when you need to make changes or updates. 
 
You can create vertical or horizontal tabs using this module. It can turn a page with massive amounts of fields into something simple and easy to navigate.

For example, these fields are grouped into sections like "Intro" and "Details" making it easier for web administrators to find specific fields when building and updating pages.

An example of the field group module.
Another example of the field group module.

3. Paragraphs Browser

The Drupal Paragraphs Browser module makes it easy to find and search the paragraph types available within your website. You can add a screenshot of what the paragraph type looks like visually on the front end along with a short 1-2 sentence description. 

An example of the paragraph browser module.

This module is loved by site administrators because it helps them to quickly find what they’re looking for when building or updating pages.

4. Webforms

Sure, it may not seem very feature-worthy at first glance, but the Drupal Webform module continues to surprise us with its tangible uses. In addition to typical webform submissions on your website, the webform module can allow elements to be populated using query string parameters. 

For example, if you wanted someone to be able to click a button on one page and have their selection carry through to the next page, you can do that using webforms. 

gif showing artwork selection pulling into webform field

5. Antibot

Nobody wants to get spam submissions through their site’s webforms. The Drupal Antibot module is a lightweight module designed to eliminate robotic form submissions and it doesn't include the annoying CAPTCHA codes for users to complete. 

This behind-the-scenes module does not require any interaction from end users – they only need to have JavaScript enabled. This can be much more reliable than a honeypot trap and it works on mobile and touch screen devices as well.

6. Image Effects + Responsive Images & Styles

The Drupal Image Effects module used in conjunction with the Responsive Images & Styles module will give greater control over the breakpoints for images, but also the effects that are applied.

With the Responsive Images & Styles module, you have the ability to associate an image style with each breakpoint defined by your theme. When breakpoints are created by a developer on a site, you can opt to use several different image styles and the image effects module to extend this capability. 

This allows you to use the same image on your site but display it in different dimensions and ratios instead of having to export each individual image. You also have the ability to decide how dimensions are managed between mobile and desktop viewers. There are also a number of image effects you can choose from to further enhance your images, such as setting the scale, opacity, blur, and much more. This saves you time in the long run.

An example of the image effects module.

In addition, the Responsive Images module uses HTML picture tags so you're only loading the image needed for that specific breakpoint. This can improve page load times on mobile devices since you're not loading large images.

When considering the Image Effects module, one of its best features is that you can set a transparent canvas background and this is so helpful when displaying a grid of logos for instance – you'll want to scale down the size of the logo since you can't crop it, but you also want the logos to take up the same space in the layout.

7. Entityqueue

The Drupal Entityqueue module has replaced what draggable views used to do (draggable views does still exist, but we opt to use Entityqueue). Website administrators don’t need to learn how to create or update Drupal views with this module as this gives them the ability to more easily create and modify groups of content into what’s called “subqueues” that can feed into a page. 

For example, a museum might have subqueues of individual exhibits that are part of a larger gallery. Or in the case of this client, a subqueue of showroom locations.
 

Entityqueue front-end

Entityqueue backend

In conclusion

Customization is what truly brings Drupal sites to life.

These are just seven of our favorite modules so far in 2021, but there are so many options available to suit your business’ unique needs. Not only that, but additional modules are being added to the Drupal community all the time.

Drupal's flexibility and reliability continue to make it a great content management system platform choice.
 


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